USA Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh

Filming has at long last started in Hollywood on the production of Gone With the Wind, the film version of the famous best-selling novel, which has been a subject of speculation in the film city for nearly a year. The chief roles were exceptionally difficult to cast, and, after lengthy conferences, Clark Gable and the young British star, Vivien Leigh, eventually secured them. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, as they will be seen in Gone With the Wind, pictured just before going in front of the cameras for the first day’s work on the film, on March 17, 1939, in Hollywood, Los Angeles. (AP Photo)


"Gone With The Wind" is a Hollywood classic and ranks highly on all-time best film lists.

The film came from a book that won the Pulitzer for author Margaret Mitchell, as she wrote a romantic novel about the Civil War and Reconstruction.


Margaret Mitchell, author who wrote "Gone With The Wind," is pictured in Atlanta, Ga., with some of the messages of congratulations she received after winning the Pulitzer Prize in literature for her novel, 1937.

Filming on the movie started 79 years ago today, and it hit theaters by year-end in December 1939.

Here are some key facts about the film and book, which was published in 1936.

(1) “Tomorrow is another day" is the closing line of the book and at one point Mitchell considered it for the book title, as well as "Another Day."

(2) Instead, Mitchell went with bit from a poem by Ernest Dowson, called "Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae," as in,

“I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,

Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,

Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind"

(3) The book took Mitchell about 10 years to write in a secretive fashion, and not a lot of novels of more than 1,000 pages get published as an author's first (and in her case ultimately only) book.

Gone With the Wind

In this Dec. 19, 1939 file photo, a crowd walks past the Astor Theater during the Broadway premiere of "Gone With the Wind" in New York. 

(4) The movie that runs almost four hours broke box office records in 1939-40, and when adjusted for inflation is still the box office champ. Based on the average movie ticket price of $9.18 in 2018, "Gone With The Wind" would have grossed $1.8 billion, according to Box Office Mojo.

(5) There was a change in directors. George Cukor was the original director, then a few weeks into the filming, he was relieved of those duties. Victor Fleming was the director replacement, even though key actresses Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland preferred Cukor.

Britain Vivien Leigh

In this 1939 file photo, Clark Gable, as Rhett Butler and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara stars in the 1939 classic, "Gone With the Wind".

(6) Leigh and actor Clark Gable had one of the most notable kisses in film history. However, she didn't like those intimate scenes, later saying he had bad breath, reportedly as the result of dentures.


County and education reporter

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